By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
The European Union (EU) has turned over on Tuesday key policy measures that would be useful in strengthening the Philippines’ efforts toward sustainable development, particularly in the energy and environment sectors.
The creation of key policy measures was a result of the P190 million (€3.5 million) EU-funded project that run from 2012 to 2017.
Through the EU-Switch Policy Support Component Philippines (PSC), several key policy measures have been established to support the country’s sustainable development, which include the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Roadmap for 2017-2014; Philippine Green Public Procurement Roadmap for 2017-2022; and development of a professionalization education module and training of a first batch of master trainers on Green Public Procurement, which will over time be cascaded to all government procurement officers.
The EU also provided technical support capacity-building to government agencies for the implementation of the Climate Incentives for Manufacturing or CLIMA Scheme established under the 2017 Investments Priorities Plan of the Department of Trade and Industry; provided real-time data to the public on the air quality index for Metro Manila; and developed a long-term strategy for environmental education in the Philippines, which is a sample teaching and learning module in Tagalog on the sustainable development goals and strengthening the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools competition.
A unique element of the EU-Switch PSC program in the Philippines is an approach that uses local sociocultural values to drive sustainable practices among different stakeholders.
Switch-Asia, which is operating in 18 Asian developing countries with overall funding of more than €300 million, is EU’s program focusing on sustainable consumption and production as an approach to development.
It also promotes economic prosperity and poverty reduction in Asia by encouraging a sustainable approach to growth with positive environmental and social impacts.
In the Philippines, the program is aligned with the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016 and 2017-2022.
The values of bayanihan, pagtitipid and malasakit that are close to the heart of Filipinos have been conceptualized as the spirit of “Luntiang Puso” to create awareness on sustainable development.
“What we do here in the Philippines is working hand in hand with the government,” EU Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Franz Jessen said.
“When we provide grants there will always be conditions. This grant will go to the energy sector, this grant will go to the health sector and then there will be specific actions under that. We do not come with sack of money and we leave that on the table and now you can do whatever you want. There will always be terms of reference for the assistance, there will always be specific objectives to be achieved and that is very normal,” he added.
Jessen said EU will continue to support the Philippines as long as the government asks for it.
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